If you or a loved one are dealing with immigration status issues, then you need to know about hardship waivers. What is an extreme hardship waiver? Basically, it is an application you must file to show that your qualifying relatives (usually a parent or spouse who is a legal resident or a U.S. citizen) would suffer if the person seeking immigration status is not allowed to live in the United States.
Based on earlier immigration decisions, we know that financial hardship alone is not considered “extreme hardship.” However, there are many other factors which may fit your situation and may help win your application. Here are a few examples.
Factors and Considerations for Extreme Hardship:
Family Ties and Impact.
- If your qualifying relative is close to their other family members living in the United States. Their age, status, and length of residence of any children may also make a difference.
- The nature of your relationship with a qualifying relative, including any facts about your relationship that would either worsen or lessen the hardship resulting from separation.
- How long your qualifying relative has lived in the United States.
Social and Cultural Impact
- If you/your qualifying relative loses access to the US courts and the criminal justice system. This may include your ability to ask for criminal investigations or prosecutions; begin family law proceedings; or get court orders for protection, child support, maintenance, child custody, or visitation.
- If you/your qualifying relative have a long-term attendance record or relationship with a church or other place of worship and the loss of that community support would affect you/your qualifying relative.
- The availability and quality of educational opportunities for your qualifying relative (and children, if any) in the US versus the country of relocation.
Fear of Harm or Persecution
- The existence of laws and social practices in your home country that punish your qualifying relative because they have been in the United States or are thought to have Western values.
- The difficulty and cost of travel and communication to keep ties between you and your qualifying relative if your qualifying relative does not relocate.
- If your qualifying relative could not communicate in the language of the country of relocation. Other factors include the amount of time and difficulty to learn that language.
- The financial impact of your departure on your qualifying relative(s). This includes your ability and your qualifying relative’s ability to get work in the country of relocation and how that would impact the qualifying relative.
- An economic and financial loss because of the sale of a home or business.
- An economic and financial loss because of the termination of a professional practice.
- A lower standard of living, including high levels of unemployment, underemployment, and lack of economic opportunity in your country of nationality.
Health Conditions & Care
- If your qualifying relative has major health conditions that would be affected by relocating, especially if suitable medical care is not available in the country of location.
- The psychological impact on your qualifying relative if they had to be separated from you or forced to relocate from the US. Also includes the psychological impact on your qualifying relative if they were separated from their other family members who are living in the United States.
- The cost of extraordinary needs. For example, special education or training for children or care for family members, including elderly, sick, or disabled parents.
Antonini & Cohen Can Help with Your Hardship Application
Putting together a hardship profile can be overwhelming. If your hardship waiver is denied, an appeal can take more than two years. The experienced immigration attorneys at Antonini & Cohen have been successfully writing hardship waivers for more than 25 years. Please contact us at 404-850-9394. We look forward to helping you!